Before the lottery on Tuesday, the Sixers were using an interesting – if not unsurprising – sales tactic: telling potential season ticket customers that ticket prices would go up if the Sixers got the number one pick… which they did.
Here’s a message one ticket rep left for a reader. I’ve removed the names and made the voice needlessly eerie:
I’m confused by this. I’ve reached out to the Sixers to see if this would indeed be the case but didn’t immediately hear back (we’ll update the post if and when we do). Season ticket prices have been posted online, but it’s unclear if the prices have moved at all since Tuesday night. I suspect that they haven’t. Yet, at least.
Which raises one of two possibilities:
- The Sixers plan on raising previously advertised season ticket prices now that they landed the number one pick.
- The sales rep was full of shit and using a crummy tactic to make a sale just hours before the lottery.
No issue with the selling pressure here, but, I don’t know, again, something feels off about what the Sixers are doing. In this case strong-arming the most patient fan base in sports with urgent, infomercial-style sales pitches about prices going up. Say nothing of the possibility of raising season ticket prices after a 10-72 season.
This is on the heels of the Sixers-StubHub partnership that will have the Sixers selling their single-game inventory alongside secondary market tickets for one “seamless” experience. I spoke to Chief Revenue Officer Chris Heck two months ago and asked for clarification on the new single-game pricing. He explained that the Sixers won’t use the platform to do real-time market pricing for individual games, but that they might just move games up or down a tier, like they did for the Lakers this year. I’ll take his word for it, but the new platform doesn’t distinguish Sixers tickets from secondary market tickets, so it’s in the Sixers’ best interest to keep up with the market – in either direction – and there’s really no way for fans (or asshole bloggers) to figure out if the Sixers are gouging fans just because they can.
Again, there’s nothing wrong here. Hey, it’s capitalism. But running a sports team is just different. There’s a public trust element to it, and it just feels that the Sixers seem to miss that point at virtually every turn. And I’m not sure what I would find more objectionable: telling people prices are going up when they’re really not… or raising prices after a few truly putrid seasons and probably still 2-3 years away from fielding a genuine contender.